Thursday 22 March 2012

my creative space - tova

tovatova tova

Still struggling with taking photos of myself in my new Tova shirts as you can see, but here's a quick shot in the bathroom mirror to give you an idea of how it looks! Its grey here today too, so apologies for not great photos all round.

I finished version two of the Wiksten Tova pattern in a black and white gingham over the weekend. The first green version was made as an XL (I know?) working from my chest measurement. Everything I read says the pattern runs fairly true and I didn't want it to be too tight but it was way too big. I've taken the sleeves off once and taken it in but I'd still prefer it narrower on the body so when I can get the enthusiasm I'm going to do that again. I'm going to put a little button on the placket too because the yoke sits too low and it can be a bit gapey.

At Suzy's advice I then tried a medium, first laying a non-stretch top over the pattern pieces as a guide. The fit is much better, though I think I need a little more space around the chest and shoulders, so the next one will be just slightly larger. I might try these instructions from Jenny herself in the Wiksten flickr group about altering the pattern. There will be another Tova, I love this pattern, so easy to wear and perfect for autumn. Its taught me a lot about top construction too, and I love how neat and well finished the different parts are too.

I didn't have quite enough fabric for the full sleeve length second time round, my fault for buying the fabric in two gos. But I like the sleeves shorter like this and I'll probably push the other sleeves up to this height anyway.

I think the trick with sewing for yourself is finding your shape and sizing and learning to sew for it. I'm just at the beginning of that process and quite happy experimenting. I think its quite an easy pattern, very well explained. The hardest part for me in the pattern sewing round the yoke at the start. I'd like to get better at that, hints welcome.

More spacey creatives here.


  1. These are great. The black check is my fave, although the pattern would look good in any kind of fabric. Nice one, Susie. x

  2. Love them both, I have some black and white gingham ready to make another one soon. Yes I need to alter the top too, and I will do the same just extend the sides out a bit under the arm and the sleeves the same so they still fit togther and it should solve my slightly tight around the bust/upper arm problem.

  3. What a great top for Autumn. I've seen this one around and really like your versions. Especially the geometric print. You're right, it is so tricky to get a good fit. I've found it so hard to find that balance between sack like and too tight.
    I was just thinking today that I needed a few more pieces in my wardrobe. This pattern would be perfect.

  4. Oh that's great. Thank you for your help. I am so looking forward to making a Tova. I've only ever made PJs and boxer shorts but I think I'm ready to move on to something trickier. You look around my size in the photo, so I think I might go with a medium-largish and see how we go :)

  5. They look excellent... love the fabric you have used too.. especially the second one! :)

  6. I love the pattern! Have to look where I can purchase it. I can't stand long sleeves & prefer this size too. Well done!
    I can see myself struggling with the sizing too but once you have it, there's no stopping is there? :) Enjoy!

  7. they are so lovely, what a great style!
    ..just wondering how you get your instagram snaps on your sidebar, which widget would that be? x

  8. Yokes are tricky but not difficult.
    Before you sew the two parts together put a stay stitch (poss in a long stitch in a contrast colour then you can pull it out after you have finished). Sew on your stitch line.
    Snip in to the corners all the way to a couple of mm before the stitching.
    Pin the two parts together and stitch together from the body of the shirt side.
    Stitch round the corners twice reinforce.
    Then when you overlock the seam allowances together if you feel the corners need further reinforcing you could top stitch them back on to the yoke.
    Hope this helps.
    The trick is to snip the corners so that you can lay the stitching line in a straight line with no wrinkles.

  9. Oh I love it!!! Both of them are soooo gorgeous, but I really love the gingham :) Wow... Jane is a master seamstress, isn't she? I think I might cut and paste these instructions for myself ;) Great space Susie. Kx

  10. They're really very nice. So wearable!

  11. It looks fantastic. I am thinking that I need to invest in that pattern. Looks like a timeless piece that will wear well.
    What a pity that the one in our gorgeous material is a little large... still - easier to bring in that take out!

  12. I love your tops, and can fully sympathize with both the fitting issue and the self-photography thing (took to balancing the camera on the side of an open drawer yesterday!).

  13. i love tops like this. practical and comfortable. yours look great. could see this pattern in many colours. xo.

  14. Love the fabric choice, I have made a black and white gingham also but cut my yoke on the cross as no matching needed then. Corners are always a bit tricky but getting better with practice.


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